Over the weekend, North Korea issued a statement warning that they will "seriously consider" returning to the development on nuclear weapons if the USA continues to refuse to ease economic sanctions against them.
The Foreign Ministry in Pyongyang warned last week it would resume building its nuclear arsenal unless it receives sanctions relief soon. "I expect we'll make some real progress, including an effort to make sure that the summit between our two leaders can take place, where we can make substantial steps towards denuclearization", he added.
South Korea's top diplomat in Moscow said Monday that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is likely to visit Russian Federation in November. The ministry described the lifting of US -led sanctions as corresponding action to the North's "proactive and good-will measures", apparently referring to its unilateral suspension of nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests and closure of a nuclear testing ground.
In its response Sunday, the North's Korean Association for Human Rights Studies said the "preposterous" report was "a part of political scheme fabricated by the hostile forces.to tarnish the image of the DPRK", the state Korean Central News Agency reported, using the country's official acronym.
Seoul's Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo said that the allies plan to make a decision on plans for next year's major exercises before December 1.
In recent weeks, North Korea has pressed more sharply for what it sees as reciprocal concessions by the United States and other countries.
But little progress has been made since then, with Washington pushing to maintain sanctions against the North until its "final, fully verified denuclearization", and Pyongyang condemning U.S. demands as "gangster-like".
But Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has since said that the US has "no plans" to hold back on future drills. American officials have remained sceptical of Kim's commitment to give up his nuclear arsenal, however, and Washington says it will not support easing global sanctions until more verified progress is made.
In an interview with Fox News on Friday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reiterated that sanctions will remain until Pyongyang carries out denuclearisation commitments made in Singapore.
North Korea stepped up its attack on US-led sanctions, threatening to resume its nuclear programme if the measures aren't lifted.